Again, worked on this post about a month ago but failed to post it cause I couldn’t upload any photos.
Bangkok – Chiang Mai – Pai
So Ann extended her stay at the farm to leave on Saturday with Marian and I. We decided to spend a day together in Bangkok; might as well since Marian and I had time to kill before our 7.35pm 14-hour sleeper train to Chiang Mai. Plus we’d all gotten to know each other better and decided to make the most of our time left together, together!
27 June 2015, Saturday
We wanted to catch the first minivan to Bangkok which we were told was at 5.30am. Eeps! So up we all were, at 4.15am, preparing to leave at 5.00am. Then surprise, surprise. Arnon came along and told us he made a mistake – the first minivan was at 5.00am… which we just missed. The next one was at 6.30am. OH WELL! It gave me more time to charge my phone and idle around. At least with this spare time, we managed to get a chance to bid farewell to Mama!
& this Arnon went back to sleep without even saying goodbye to us!!! He went to catch more rest cause he needed to orientate the new volunteers and bring them to give alms to monks.
Mama and Arnon’s brother (Ou*), brought us to the terminal and Mama teared when she was saying goodbye. :'< I didn’t think that I would get teary from leaving the farm as compared to the elephant camp cause there wasn’t much emotional attachment to the people and animals. But seeing Mama tear made me tear as well because it isn’t easy doing what she does at her age – cooking meals for everyone, doing tasks to maintain the farm, and everything else which isn’t profit-driven.
Onward we went! Reached Bangkok around 9+am and took a cab to Ann’s rented Airbnb apartment. The host kindly let Marian and I put our stuff there for the day and use the shower. It’s a good thing that the apartment was near a MRT station – easy for us to get to Hua Lampong Station after!
Dumped our stuff, met Ann’s other half – Jacob – and cabbed to Chatuchak Market for Marian to experience it! Since I’ve been there countless times/ on a budget/ didn’t need anything but food, and Jacob being a guy… we chatted/ waited for the girls while they shopped but surprisingly didn’t drop.
We intended to visit the Royal Palace Temple and Wat Phra xxx but those plans were happily ditched cause shopping > anything else. I didn’t mind anyways. Spent a total of five hours at Chatuchak!!!
Really glad we could shower cause I was really sticky and didn’t wna feel disgusting for the next 24 hours. Grabbed a quick snack with Ann and Jacob and we sadly parted ways. That was the end of us Farm Girls’ journey.
My legs were so sore after a long day of walking plus I still had those pretty horrible swollen infected bites. I was looking forward to lying down and resting my legs.
Reached the railway station, boarded our cabins (we were both separated), and made friends with my 14-hour neighbors. One was a German who made small talk and the other two were Korean who didn’t speak English.
The sleeper train was different from the one I took from Nong Khai to Bangkok! This had cabins with two already-laid ‘bunk beds’ meant for four people. Marian and I bought top bunk tickets though I would have preferred the bottom bunk but the ticket specifications was lost in translation.
Didn’t purchase the train dinner/ breakfast in a bid to save money! I wasn’t hungry anyways, just exhausted. Once the staff made the beds, I clambered up and to sleep shortly after around 9.00pm.
I slept for a good 11 hours; rest well-deserved after many consecutive days of waking up early in the morning. Apart from blinding corridor lights and waking up a couple of times, the top bunk was surprisingly comfortable! The ride didn’t feel as bumpy as my previous bottom bunk experience. Maybe you feel less impact being on the top.
So back to Chiang Mai I was; my 8th time in that beautiful memory-filled city. Took a song taew to our guesthouse – Big & O’s House – and started wandering! Marian wanted to visit some temples after not catching any in Bangkok, and cause after all we were in Thailand.
Walked around for a bit before we both agreed to head back to the guesthouse to rest. But before that, we shared a bowl of boat noodles and did a bit of pampering! Marian had a ‘panicure’ (pedicure) while I had a herbal facial scrub for 100baht. My face felt so clean after!
Went back to the guesthouse to nap and I’m really glad we did cause we spent a whopping six hours at the Sunday Night Walking Street Market!!! From 6.00pm to 12.00am, hoo boy! I was impressed. I have never spent that long in the market; my maximum was four hours. We covered almost everything but had to breeze through the last half of a street cause many stores were closing.
28 June 2015, Sunday
I was excited!!! We were going to Pai, I was going to revisit my favorite elephant and people!
Grabbed brunch before catching our 12.00pm minivan to Pai which after much waiting, departed at 1.00pm. I was getting impatient and eager cause I wanted to get to Pai as quickly as we could and catch the elephants before they were brought back up to the mountains!!!
Eventually arrived at 4.30pm, went to Thom’s office in town for the pick-up and found out our ride was only going to come at 6.00pm cause Thom was busy. Oh well! That gave us time to explore the town a bit and have some late lunch. I never really got a chance to fully see the town anyways! I spent 99% of my time with the elephants previously.
Dao, Thom’s sister, came to bring us to the camp. So ecstatic to see familiar faces again! But there were more people that I sadly didn’t get a chance to see cause they either weren’t working anymore/ went to University.